Layered Rainbow Jello is easy to make, fun to eat, and brings a beautiful bit of whimsy to all your springtime celebrations, Easter gatherings, Unicorn banquets, and Pride parties.
Bright, colorful rainbow Jello is always a crowd-pleaser! A vintage favorite that your grandma probably knew as Jello Ribbon Salad, its variegated bands are as sweet and tasty as they are eye-catching. Perfect for parties, rainbow Jello can be made days ahead of time.
The ingredients for ribbon Jello could not be simpler. For any given layered combo, you need 6 small boxes of flavored gelatin (i.e., Jello®), a pint and a half of plain, honey, or vanilla yogurt, and water.
For Layered Rainbow Jello, you need:
- Grape gelatin; 3 ounces (purple)
- Blueberry gelatin; 3 ounces (blue)
- Lime gelatin; 3 ounces (green)
- Lemon gelatin; 3 ounces (yellow)
- Orange gelatin; 3 ounces (orange)
- Raspberry or strawberry gelatin; 3 ounces (red)
- Vanilla or honey yogurt (We prefer to use Greek yogurt.)
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make this Recipe
Ribbon Jello requires about 5 minutes of hands-on time every half hour, and a total of about 8 hours to refrigerate the layers.
We usually make this recipe in a 9x13 baking pan; however, it can also be layered into a 10-12 cup bundt pan for a stunning rainbow Jello bundt cake.
First, make space in your refrigerator for whatever dish or pan you are using.
Add 1 cup boiling water to one small package of purple gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Divide the gelatin in half into two separate containers.
For the first layer, whisk in ½ cup of yogurt into the half of the gelatin, and pour into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
Reserve the other half of the gelatin on the counter.
Put the first Jello-yogurt layer into the refrigerator and let it set for 35 minutes.
When the first layer is set, stir in ¼ cup cold water into the reserved Jello.
Carefully spoon the clear layer over the yogurt layer.
DO NOT POUR liquid Jello directly onto the set gelatin. Use a large spoon to gently spoon it on, using the back of the spoon to spread it evenly across the previous layer like thin icing.
If you have a lot of bubbles on the top of the clear layer, try gently tapping the dish on the counter before refrigerating to release some of the air.
You can also get rid of bubbles using a culinary torch to pop them. Do this by quickly passing the flame over the surface of the gelatin.
Follow all the directions the same as for the first lime layer for each gelatin layer. The layers from bottom to top are:
- Purple with yogurt
- Clear Purple
- Blue with yogurt
- Clear Blue
- Green with yogurt
- Clear Green
- Yellow with yogurt
- Clear Yellow
- Orange with yogurt
- Clear Orange
- Red with yogurt
- Clear Red
Add each layer as soon as the former layer is set (30-35 minutes). Use a timer for best results.
In order for the "ribbons" to be clearly defined, each layer must be set up well before proceeding. However, it is also important not to wait too long, or the layers will slide apart when you cut them.
You will have a total of 12 layers when finished: 6 with yogurt and 6 without.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
You can customize the colors of layered jello for almost any occasion!
• St Patricks Day - This beautiful green and gold ribbon Jello is light, refreshing, and just the thing to brighten up your Saint Patrick's day table!
• Christmas: Red & Green Jello
• Valentine's Day: Pink, Red & White Jello for Valentine's Day.
• Independence Day (US): Red-White-Blue Jello
• Halloween: Black Cherry, Grape, and Orange Jello for all the fall festivals.
• Team Colors: You can create layered Jello for for football tailgates, baseball barbecues, and soccer soirees. Simply used the color-combo of your favorite teams. (Need a savory team snack? Try our easy Team Colors 7-Layer Dip!)
This rainbow Jello recipe fits a 9x13 Pyrex baking dish perfectly. However, you can also use it to create a vibrant, festive party centerpiece by layering it into a 10-12 cup bundt pan for a stunning rainbow Jello bundt cake.
To make a layered Jello Bundt Cake, first find a large, flat serving platter that is bigger than the base of the bundt pan, and sprinkle a little water onto the surface. (This will make it easier to adjust the molded Jello later.)
When you are ready to release the Jello from the bundt pan, fill your sink with warm water and submerge the bundt pan up to about an inch below the edge for 10-15 seconds, being careful not to allow any water to get close to the edges.
Invert the serving platter on top of the bundt pan. Then, firmly holding on from the top and bottom, carefully flip the bundt pan and the platter over together in one gentle, fluid motion. Carefully lift the bundt pan off the platter to reveal a stunning molded rainbow Jello bundt cake. If the Jello is off-center, use a rubber spatula to help guide it into place.
Layered Jello lasts a remarkably long time in the fridge (up to 2 weeks), although it does start slowly breaking down after the first week.
What to Do with Leftover Jello
This recipe makes a lot of Jello, and we often have leftovers. Leftover ribbon Jello is perfect for making a variation of a delicious (albeit polarizing) concoction known as Namanu Delight. For generations, Camp Namanu in Sandy, Oregon has served Namanu Delight to campers every Friday night. It is so ingrained in camp culture that even as adults, we still enjoy it on banquet night at our annual Reunion.
To make this modified version of Namanu Delight, cut any leftover layered jello into ¼- to ½-inch cubes. Throw in a handful or two of mini-marshmallows (depending on how much jello you have). Drain a can of fruit cocktail and add the fruit (optional: this is old-old-school), and then fold in enough whipped cream or Cool Whip to hold everything together. Yumm!
Jello®, as I'm sure you are aware, is a specific brand of powdered gelatin; however, like Kleenex and Xerox, it has become a brand-turned-household name. However, you can use any brand of gelatin for this recipe.
More Spring Recipes
How to Serve Rainbow Jello
There are a number of ways to serve this colorful, whimsical treat.
- Side Dish: Serve it straight from the pan, with a spatula or slotted serving spoon.
- Appetizer or Finger-food: Cut it into cubes, stacks, or other small shapes and serve it like old-school Jello-jigglers.
- Dessert: Slather a layer of Cool Whip on top before serving for a delightful rainbow Jello dessert!
Layered Rainbow Jello
- 1 Whisk
- 1 large serving spoon
- 1 small box grape gelatin purple; 3 ounces
- 1 small box blueberry gelatin blue; 3 ounces
- 1 small box lime gelatin green; 3 ounces
- 1 small box lemon gelatin yellow; 3 ounces
- 1 small box orange gelatin orange; 3 ounces
- 1 small box raspberry or strawberry gelatin red; 3 ounces
- 3 cups vanilla yogurt or honey yogurt
- First, make space in your refrigerator for whatever dish or pan you are using.
- Add 1 cup boiling water to one small package of purple gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Divide the gelatin in half into two separate containers.
- For the first layer, whisk in ½ cup of yogurt into the half of the gelatin, and pour into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.Reserve the other half of the gelatin on the counter.
- Put the first Jello-yogurt layer into the refrigerator and let it set for 35 minutes.
- When the first layer is set, stir in ¼ cup cold water into the reserved Jello.Carefully spoon the clear layer over the yogurt layer.DO NOT POUR liquid Jello directly onto the set gelatin. This can drill a hole through the Jello. Use a large spoon to gently spoon the gelatin on, using the back of the spoon to spread it evenly across the previous layer like thin icing.
- Follow the directions above to make each gelatin-yogurt and each clear layer. From bottom to top, the layers are:1. Purple with yogurt2. Clear Purple3. Blue with yogurt4. Clear Blue5. Green with yogurt6. Clear Green7. Yellow with yogurt8. Clear Yellow9. Orange with yogurt10. Clear Orange11. Red with yogurt12. Clear Red
- Add each layer as soon as the former layer is set (30-35 minutes). Use a timer for best results.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Removing Bubbles:If you have a lot of bubbles on the top of the clear layer, try gently tapping the dish on the counter before refrigerating to release some of the air. You can also get rid of bubbles using a culinary torch to pop them. Do this by quickly passing the flame over the surface of the gelatin.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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This Layered Rainbow Jello is a perfect spring dessert! Love low-calorie desserts.
Farah Abumaizar says
So beautiful and precise! I can't wait to try this out with my kids, thanks for the beatiful recipe!
Amanda Wren-Grimwood says
This looks so difficult but the instructions are so clear for this that it looks totally doable. The layers and colours are amazing.
Renée B. says
Thank you! It looks like layered glass, doesn't it?
I love jello and this tasty treat was so pretty to look at! My family really enjoyed this!
The kids are loving this and love helping make it - we will make it again for Easter! Such a fun idea.